Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02 livery launch, 2021

Tost expects strong performance and “some crashes” from Tsunoda on debut

2021 F1 season

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AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says it is to be expected the team’s new driver Yuki Tsunoda will crash during his debut season.

However Tost said he has high hopes for the 20-year-old who is making his Formula 1 debut after two years of racing in Europe.

“We expect his learning curve to be quite steep, so he should be able to achieve a good performance quite quickly,” said Tost.

“Of course, he will have some crashes, that’s part of the development programme, but what is very extraordinary on his side is the car control, his strength on the braking and his speed in fast corners. If he continues his learning process, like he did at the tests in Imola and Abu Dhabi last year, I’m sure we will see some fantastic races.”

Tsunoda will be partnered by Pierre Gasly, who is beginning his fourth full season as a Formula 1 driver this year. His experience will be a valuable asset for Tsunoda’s development, said Tost.

“Pierre is a very high-skilled driver and he now also has the necessary experience to be a leader in the team and for Yuki. Every driver compares themselves with their team mate so the better the latter is, the more you are pushed to improve yourself.

“Yuki can learn a lot from Pierre in all aspects, for example comparing the lap times, the set-up of the car, the driving lines – this is all very important, especially on those tracks that are new to Yuki. If you have a strong and experienced team mate you can compare many different parameters, which help to improve your own performance.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 5 comments on “Tost expects strong performance and “some crashes” from Tsunoda on debut”

    1. Yeah, definitely one of two rookies to look forward to this year, and Tsunoda is also the one I’d expect to show some spectacular stuff already early in the season. Helps to have a well established teammate in a team that seems to want them to cooperate.

    2. “AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says it is to be expected the team’s new driver Yuki Tsunoda will crash during his debut season”

      ??? I hope he doesn’t mean into other cars. This is not banger racing

    3. Jonathan Parkin
      19th February 2021, 10:24

      He might surprise us all and not crash at all

      On the same lines has any driver ever had a no crash season

    4. That would happen if Nikita’s involved in some crashes with another driver. Just look back at F2 Sakhir Race 1.

    5. Carl Denis Stephan
      22nd February 2021, 1:24

      I believe Yuki will be a world champion maybe not in his first year but later

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